John Madden Jr. commits $5 million to support faculty innovation

Local real estate developer and philanthropist John Madden Jr. has committed $5 million to support the Center for Innovation in the Liberal and Creative Arts at the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (CAHSS). To recognize his generosity, DU will name the John Madden Center for Innovation in the Liberal and Creative Arts in his honor.

The Madden Center functions as an academic venture capital firm, investing in faculty-driven projects that develop innovative approaches to scholarship, teaching, creative work and community engagement. It identifies and supports passionate, entrepreneurial faculty members who have already invested their own time and energy to begin a promising early stage-project whose scope is limited by existing resources of time, funding and program development expertise.

“Through John’s gift, DU will strengthen the connection between the liberal arts and innovation,” says Chancellor Rebecca Chopp. “John’s generosity will advance faculty innovation by providing critical funding and resources for research and programs, such as the recent cross-discipline DU prison arts initiative. We are grateful for John’s friendship and entrepreneurial spirit. Through this gift, John will impact the DU community, and the Denver region, for decades to come.”

The Madden Center supports projects that are:

  • Multidisciplinary, connecting faculty and students across DU regardless of their degree program or academic home.
  • Transformational, changing the way students learn and faculty conduct research and creative activity.
  • Committed to developing Keystone Experiences, opportunities for a large number of CAHSS students to engage in immersive experiential education.
  • Focused on problem-based learning, a student-centered pedagogy in which students learn by solving open-ended, real-world problems.
  • Committed to creating community partnerships, including supporting course proposals and scholarship/creative work that are community engaged.

“We are thrilled that Mr. Madden committed to support a signature project in our Keystone Strategic Plan,” said Daniel McIntosh, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences. “His generosity provides the long-term financial support needed to amplify the tremendous work of the center, our faculty and our students, providing a model for higher education innovation.”

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